Mother and Father’s Day Ideas Archives

Poem: Reflections of a Mother

Reflections of a Mother

I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can’t build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can’t say “no” for you.
I can warn you about drugs, but I can’t prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can’t achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can’t force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God’s family.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life . . .  and I will!!!

Always, Mom (COPIED)

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Outreach Ideas for Small Churches

35  Outreach Ideas for Small Churches

  1. Sponsor a school or classroom
  2.  Annual revivals
  3. Christian-Family movie night
  4. Neighborhood dinner
  5. Community festival
  6. Halloween alternative
  7. Honor community heroes
  8. Christmas play
  9. Community garden
  10. Buy school supplies for poor children
  11. Parents’ night out or Mother’s morning out
  12. Homecoming…invite former members back
  13. Recognize veterans and military
  14. VBS
  15. Community thanksgiving service
  16. Church day camp (Good soul-winning and training tool for children)
  17. Day trips for senior citizens
  18. Senior adult programs, lunch
  19. Church yard sale
  20. Free carwash
  21. Host English as a second language class or a computer training class
  22. Grief ministry (Check obituaries and deliver baskets with goodies and a pastor’s letter)
  23. Grandparents day
  24. Mother’s day and Father’s day
  25. Church Anniversary
  26. Nursing home ministry
  27. Report card rewards and recognition
  28. Lock in or lock out
  29. Door-to-door food collection for community food bank (Good way to hand out tracts)
  30. Christmas parties for seniors, kids, families, target groups
  31. Volunteer recognition (Could be for church volunteers or community volunteers)
  32. Addiction programs
  33. Single adult or single parent programs
  34. Neighborhood inventories and assessments
  35. Prayer ministry
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Rules for Raising a Delinquent Child

Several years ago, the Police Department of Houston, Texas,  put out  these 12 rules for raising a delinquent child.

1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. By doing this, he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.
2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think it’s cute.
3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21 and then let him decide for himself.
4. Avoid the use of the word “wrong”, this will give him a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him, and he is being persecuted.
5. Pick up everything he leaves around…books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will experience in throwing all responsibility on others.
6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let your child’s mind feast on garbage.
7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your child. In this way, he will not be too shocked when your home breaks up.
8. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them?
9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.
10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
11. When he gets in real trouble, comfort yourself by saying, “I never could do anything with him.”
12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it.

If children are trained properly, they will bring you comfort in your old age. They will contribute positive values to this world. They will become good citizens and builders of our society.

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Meanings of Most Flowers

As every flower lover knows, flowers have a language of their own. Every sentiment is expressed in one form or another by these delicate blooms. Of course, even the experts disagree on the “true meaning” of many flowers and most have different meanings to different people. So, while all flowers convey thoughtfulness and love, here are some of the more traditional flower meanings.

ACACIA – Concealed Love, Chaste Love
AMBROSIA – Your Love is Reciprocated
AMARYLLIS – Pride, Pastoral Poetry
ANEMONE – Forsaken
ARBUTUS – Thee Only Do I Love
ASTER – Symbol of Love, Daintiness
AZALEA – Chinese Symbol of Womanhood
BACHELOR BUTTON – Single Blessedness
BEGONIA – Beware
BELLS OF IRELAND – Good Luck
BITTERSWEET – Truth
BLUEBELL – Humility
CACTUS – Endurance
CAMELLIA (PINK) – Longing for you
CAMELLIA (RED) – You’re a Flame in My Heart
CAMELLIA (WHITE) – You’re Adorable
CARNATION (GENERAL) – Fascination
CARNATION (PINK) – I’ll Never Forget You
CARNATION (RED) – Admiration
CARNATION (PURPLE) – Capriciousness
CARNATION (SOLID COLOR) – Yes
CARNATION (STRIPED) – No, Sorry I Can’t Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You
CARNATION (WHITE) – Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love
CARNATION (YELLOW) – You Have Disappointed Me, Rejection
CATTAIL – Peace, Prosperity
CHRYSANTHEMUM (GENERAL) – You’re a Wonderful Friend, Cheerfulness and Rest
CHRYSANTHEMUM (White) Truth
CHRYSANTHEMUM (YELLOW) – Slighted Love
CROCUS – Cheerfulness
CYCLAMEN – Resignation and Good-bye
DAFFODIL – Regard, You’re the Only One, The Sun is Always Shining when I’m with You
DAISY – Innocence, Loyal Love, I’ll Never Tell, Purity
DANDELION – Faithfulness, Happiness
FERN – Magic, Fascination, Confidence and Shelter
FIR – Time
FLAX – Domestic Symbol
FORGET-ME-NOT – True Love, Memories
FORSYTHIA – Anticipation
GARDENIA – You’re Lovely, Secret Love
GERANIUM – Stupidity, Folly
GLADIOLI – Give Me a Break, I’m Really Sincere
GLOXINIA – Love at First Sight
HEATHER (LAVENDER) – Admiration, Solitude
HEATHER (WHITE) – Protection, Wishes Will Come True
HOLLY – Defense, Domestic Happiness
HYACINTH (GENERAL) – Games and Sports
HYACINTH (BLUE) – Constancy
HYACINTH (PURPLE) – I am Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Sorrow
HYACINTH (RED OR PINK) – Play
HYACINTH (WHITE) – Loveliness, I’ll Pray for You
HYACINTH (YELLOW) – Jealousy
HYDRANGEA – Thank You for Understanding
IRIS – Fleur-de-lis, Emblem of France, Your Friendship Means so Much to Me, Faith, Hope, Wisdom and Valor, My Compliments
IVY – Wedded Love, Fidelity, Friendship, Affection
JONQUIL – Love Me, Affection Returned, Desire, Sympathy, Desire for Affection Returned
LARKSPUR (PINK) – Fickleness
LILY (WHITE) – Purity, Majesty
LILY (YELLOW) – I’m Walking on Air, False and Happy
LILY (CALLA) – Beauty
LILY (DAY) – Coquetry, Chinese Emblem for Mother
LILY (EUCHARIS) – Maiden Charms
LILY (TIGER) – Wealth, Pride
LILY OF THE VALLEY – Sweetness, Return to Happiness, Humility, You’ve Made My Life Complete
MAGNOLIA – Nobility
MARIGOLD – Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy
MISTLETOE – Kiss me, Affection, To Surmount Difficulties, Sacred Plant of India
MONKSHOOD – Beware, A Deadly Foe is Near
MOSS – Maternal Love, Charity
MYRTLE – Love, Hebrew Emblem of Marriage
NARCISSUS – Egotism, Formality, Stay as Sweet as You Are
NASTURTIUM – Conquest, Victory in Battle
OLEANDER – Caution
ORANGE BLOSSOM – Innocence, Eternal Love, Marriage and Fruitfulness
ORANGE MOCK – Deceit
ORCHID – Love, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children
ORCHID (CATTLEYA) – Mature Charm
PALM LEAVES – Victory and Success
PEONY – Happy Life, Happy Marriage
PETUNIA – Resentment, Anger, Your Presence Sooths Me
PINE – Hope, Pity
POPPY (GENERAL) – Eternal Sleep, Oblivion, Imagination
POPPY (RED) Pleasure
POPPY (WHITE) – Consolation
POPPY (YELLOW) – Wealth, Success
PRIMROSE – I Can’t Live Without You
PRIMROSE (EVENING) – Inconstancy
ROSE (BRIDAL) – Happy Love
ROSE (DARK CRIMSON) – Mourning
ROSE (HIBISCUS) – Delicate Beauty
ROSE (LEAF) – You May Hope
ROSE (PINK) – Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me
ROSE (RED) – Love, I Love You
ROSE (TEA) – I’ll Remember Always
ROSE (THORNLESS) – Love at First Sight
ROSE (WHITE) – Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You’re Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence
ROSE (WHITE AND RED MIXED) – Unity, Flower Emblem of England
ROSE (WHITE-DRIED) – Death is Preferable to Loss of Virtue
ROSE (YELLOW) – Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care
ROSEBUD – Beauty and Youth, A Heart Innocent of Love
ROSEBUD (RED) – Pure and Lovely
ROSEBUD (WHITE) – Girlhood
ROSEBUD (MOSS) – Confessions of Love
ROSES (Bouquet of Mature Blooms) – Gratitude
ROSES (Single Full Bloom) – I Love You, I Still Love You
SMILAX – Loveliness
SNAPDRAGON – Gracious Lady
SPIDER FLOWER – Elope with Me
STEPHANOTIS – Happiness in Marriage, Desire to Travel
STOCK – Bonds of Affection, Promptness, You’ll Always Be Beautiful to Me
SWEETPEA – Good-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You for a Lovely Time
TULIP (GENERAL) – Perfect Lover, Frame, Flower Emblem of Holland
TULIP (RED) – Believe Me, Declaration of Love
TULIP (VARIEGATED) – Beautiful Eyes
TULIP (YELLOW) – There’s Sunshine in Your Smile
VIOLET – Modesty
VIOLET (BLUE) – Watchfulness, Faithfulness, I’ll Always Be True
VIOLET (WHITE) – Let’s Take a Chance
ZINNIA (MAGENTA) – Lasting Affection
ZINNIA (MIXED) – Thinking (or In Memory) of an Absent Friend
ZINNIA (SCARLET) – Constancy
ZINNIA (WHITE) – Goodness
ZINNIA (YELLOW) – Daily Remembrance

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The Parable of the Young Mother

The young mother placed her foot upon the path of life. “Is the way long?” she asked. And her guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard. You’ll be old before you reach the end of it, but the end will be better than the beginning.”

The young mother was happy, and she just couldn’t believe that anything would ever be better than these years. Along the way, she played with her children, gathered flowers with them, and bathed them in the clear streams. The sun shone down upon them and life was good. The young mother said, “Nothing will ever be better than this.”

But the night came, and the storm. The children shook with fear and were cold. But the mother drew them to her, and placed her arms around and covered them with her coat. The children said, “Mother, we’re not afraid for you’re here and no harm can come to us.”

That night the mother looked up at the stars and said, “This is better than the brightness of the day; for I have taught my children courage.”

The next day came and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary, and the mother became tired and weary, but she smiled and said, “A little further and we’re there.”

That night the mother said, “This day has been better than the last. My children have learned fortitude in the face of hardship. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”

The third day came and there were storm clouds that overshadowed the earth. Clouds of war, and hate, and evil. The children stumbled and groped along the way, but the mother said. “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” The children looked and saw beyond the clouds to an Everlasting Glory that guided them and brought them beyond the darkness.

That night the mother said, “This has been the best day of all for I have shown my children God.”

The days passed, and the weeks, and the months, and the years. The mother was old and she was little and bent, but the children were tall and strong and they walked with courage. When the way was hard they helped their mother, and when the way was rough, they lifted her.

As last, they came to the top of the hill and in the distance they could see a shining road with Golden Gates flung wide. The mother said, “I have come to the end of my journey, and now I know that the end is better than the beginning. For now my children can walk alone and their children after them.”

But the children said, “Mother, you will always walk with us, even when you have passed through the gates.” And they stood and watched as she went on alone and the gates closed after her.

But the children said, “Mother is with us still…for a mother like ours is more than a memory—she is a Living Presence.”

—Author Unknown

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It happens every year in May, and pastors anticipate it expectantly. Mother’s Day promises a high energy, high attendance Sunday, with a smiling, eager congregation. There will be extra guests such as–sons, daughters and grandchildren attending worship services with their mothers. There will be new mothers, pregnant moms, substitute moms, stepmothers, foster moms, grandmothers. What an opportunity!

No pressure, pastor, but how will this Mother’s Day be different from last year’s celebration? How can your church esteem mothers, yet point the worship service toward God? It’s time to get creative. Need a few fresh ideas?

MOM & ME VIDEO: Ask the tech team to interview children and prepare a montage of testimony clips explaining why “My Mom’s the Best!” Or invite the youth group to prepare a short video to honor their mothers. Or gather dozens of photos of church members with their mothers for a slide show set to music. Use the video for pre-service viewing or play it along with an appropriate music special.

HERE’S YOUR DAISY: If your church presents gifts on Mother’s Day, it’s a good idea to give one to each woman present. (Many childless women have been like a mother to other children.) Each year’s gift can be unique and meaningful, such as:

A single flower.
A book. A CD. A pin. A pen.
Multi-ribbon bookmarks for her Bible.
A corsage made by children in your church.
Laminated copy of an original Mother’s Day poem.
A scripture bookmark with original art by a church youth.
Recruit a different group of people to present the gift each year, i.e. teen boys, deacons, fifth-grade girls, new members, elderly men or church staff.

OLD WOMEN, PLEASE STAND: Not to be a fuddy-duddy, but pointing out the oldest, youngest and most prolific mothers during worship is not always flattering. As an alternative, consider recognizing mothers with a new baby since last year, great-grandmothers, mothers of teenagers or mothers of military. Then include all mothers in a thanksgiving prayer.

I WAS BORN: One pastor announced a special prayer time for mothers, asking everyone in the congregation who had been born to a mother to stand. That’s everyone!

PRESCHOOL PARADE: Prepare signs for all preschoolers, such as, “I thank God for my mom,” “Honor your mother and father,” or giant MOM letters. While worshippers sing a chorus, the joyful Mother’s Day parade of preschoolers marches in one door and exits another. Delightful!

CHILDREN’S SCRIPTURE SHOUT: Choose an appropriate Scripture to teach elementary age children. Children march into worship during a congregational song, spread out around the worship center, then quote the Scripture in unison.

MOM’S BRUNCH: Youth can pamper their moms by planning and serving a lovely brunch. Men carry a towel draped across their arm and wear an eyebrow-pencil-drawn curly mustache. Plan a program of poetry readings, serenading and prayers.

NO COOKING: How about a catered picnic for a church-wide Mother’s Day lunch at the local park? The pastor of a Filipino church in New Jersey excitedly told me about their top-secret plan for Mother’s Day. The men of the church have reserved an entire local restaurant for lunch, and they’ll surprise their mothers and families with a special meal.

SENSE AND SENSITIVITY: Scripture instructs us to honor our fathers and mothers, but use discretion. Some in your congregation may dread Mother’s Day because of marital status, childlessness, death or problems with parents.

WORSHIP HIM, NOT HER: Many unchurched family members will attend worship with their moms. Tell them how Jesus can change their life! It’s a great day for a baptism, baby dedication or children’s choir song. Joyfully honor mom on Mother’s Day, but focus on the only One worthy of worship — our God.

This column was adapted from the forthcoming book, “Fresh Ideas: 1,000 Ways to Grow a Thriving & Energetic Church,” to be released by B&H on June 1st. Diana Davis is the wife of Indiana Baptist State Convention’s executive director.

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Mother, What Kind of Temple Are You Building?

Two Temples

A Builder builded a temple,
He wrought it with grace and skill
Pillars and groins and arches.
All fashioned to work his will.

Men said as they saw its beauty,
“It shall never know decay;
Great is thy skill, O builder!
Thy fame shall endure for aye”

A Mother builded a temple,
With loving and infinite care,
Planning each arch with patience,
Laying each stone with prayer.

None praise her unceasing efforts,
None knew of her wondrous plan
For the temple the Mother builded
Was unseen by the eyes of man.

Gone is the Builder’s temple,
Crumbled into the dust
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust.

But the temple the Mother builded,
Will last while the ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Was a child’s immortal soul.

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An Open Letter to the Dad Looking at Porn

Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well. I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman.

First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing. Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face. When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life. I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us. Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter

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Love (Read I Corinthians 13) Is God’s love evident in your home? Are you patient, kind, not jealous, not prideful, and not easily provoked? Do you rejoice when your child does something good or truthful? Do you bear all things? Do you believe the best? Do you hope in all situations? Do you endure all things?

This kind of love is only possible as you yield to the Holy Spirit and allow His supernatural love flow through you.

Spiritual Leadership (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:6; I Timothy 4:7-8) Do you bring Christ into your home through natural sharing of what He is doing in your life? Do you read God’s Word and discuss it with your children? Do you pray together as a family? Do you encourage your children by your example of self-discipline for the purpose of godliness? If your children are Christians, do you teach them how to have their own quiet time with the Lord?

Time (Titus 2:4-5) Are you too busy to spend time with your children? Are other things more of a priority? Does the time you spend with your children include play as well as work?

A mother needs to be available in all kinds of circumstances to develop rapport, to be an example, and to teach.

Disciple (Proverbs 29:15) Do you faithfully set down standards and carry out discipline consistently and fairly? Are you too permissive?

Authoritarianism (Ephesians 6:4) Are you a loving leader to your children? Are you provoking your children to anger? Are you overbearing, critical and intolerant?

Mothers are not to try to create their children into their own image.

Humility (Philippians 2:3) Are you seeking to portray a false sense of perfection? Are you trying to make it look like you don’t struggle with sin in your life? Do your children see your sorrow and repentance for your sin? Do you show yourself to be a servant to others or do you expect others to serve you? Do you seek forgiveness from your children?

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Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough” The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.”  They kissed, and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”  “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this ‘a forever good-bye’?” The mother shared with me. “I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead, and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,”

I then asked the woman, “When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough’. May I ask what that means?” She began to smile, “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”.

Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory:

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.  I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess .I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person; an hour to appreciate them; a day to love them; and an entire life to forget them. I shall never forget the day that I witnessed a loving mother giving her daughter a forever good-bye.

Author Unknown-Copied from my files

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